WA YOUNG ACHIEVERS AWARD
Rahul is among the 10 semi-finalists for the WA Young Achievers Award in Sports.
SURGE FITNESS SPORTS AWARD
The shortlist of 4 finalists will be announced on the 22nd of March…. but to be shortlisted to the top10 in this company is an honour for him. Congratulations Rahul, you are a very talented young man. GOOD LUCK for the Award.
RELEASE THE CRACKEN – Queens Baton Bearer Brings National Title to WA
Rahul Jegatheva had a weekend for the ages, surrounded by North Coast Tri Club members East to West as on Saturday the 24th of Feb, he became the first ever West Australian 19&U National Champion at Triathlon Australia’s National Aquathlon Championships at Lake Crackenback in the Snowy Mountains. He had good company here as NCTC’s Kathryn Caudle and mother Gill Humphreys took out Gold and Bronze in their age groups. The very next day, he held aloft with pride the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton at the Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre for the City of Stirling community celebration with Mayor Mark Irwin in attendance and experienced the day with one of the mainstays of the NCTC Aquathlon series, Virginia Entriken, who passed on the baton to a young 10 year old.
What a thought to be the Australian National Champion! This is something that Rahul had always dreamed about across his young years, as he had qualified for the national championships in many sports including pool and open water swimming, track and cross country running, triathlon and aquathlon as well in previous years. In February 2017 he came close taking the silver medal in the Aquathlon in the 19&U to New South Welshman, Nathan Breen, the-then World Triathlon Age-Group Champion. In August 2017, Rahul went one better taking the World Age-Group Aquathlon title in Canada, and so given his performances in 2017, the pressure was on to cement the world title by winning his first National title, something that normally happens the other way around!
The leadup couldn’t have gone worse, as Rahul was ill and unable to train for the 3 days leading up to the race and was suffering from flu and dehydration and coughing badly overnight, but, he dug deep down to that special place sportsmen and women are able to when the chips are down, and fought through the illness and against his opponents to win the 19&U title by a margin of more than 2 minutes. The race was a massed start format with athletes of all ages including elite professional Australian and international athletes. Rahul mixed it with the best of them getting the better of a number of elites and finishing as the 3rd best Australian at the Nationals. New Zealander and professional triathlete Sam Osborne was the overall winner.
It was then, that the next race began. To make it from the mountains of New South Wales back to Perth in time to carry the Queens Baton! With the Aquathlon race starting at 4.30pm at Lake Crackenback, that didnt leave any margin for error. No flights were available from Canberra or Sydney that would make it back by 9am to Perth which was a must if he were to fulfill his commitments, so a 7 hour drive to Melbourne Airport for a plane departing at 6am was the only option. Missing the national medal presentation which was held at 8pm, he was driven overnight through the twisting and turning Alpine Highway carved out of the mountains that make up the Great Dividing Range in rain, mist and darkness to get on that 6am plane.
The culmination of that weekend for the ages came as he ran into the Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre in the presence of friends, family, the mayor, and the good people of the City of Stirling being escorted by members of the Australian police force who all donned the official colours of the queens baton relay!
“Its hard to process all that has happened over the weekend. Its such an honour to win the national title, and to be given the opportunity to carry the Queens Baton. I owe a lot to my swim coach, Eoin Carroll of Perth City Swimming Club, my run coach, Prof Grant Landers of UWA and all the amazing athletes from the North Coast Triathlon Club with whom I have been participating in their annual Aquathlon series over the years!” said Rahul.
Next stop for the baton…the Gold Coast and the Commonwealth Games. Next stop for Rahul, and hopefully Kathryn (who has also gained automatic qualification), the International Triathlon Union World Aquathlon Championships in Denmark in July 2018. Let the Games begin!
Footage from the Queens baton relay ceremony
Footage from the race
Written by: JJ Jegatheva